The Connectivity Conundrum Q3 2020

6.55 up from 6.53

There was one comment which summed up this question better than any other, and which seemingly captures the current predicament too, “The only reason to smile is the contact to my family”.

The need for contact with home has long been important to seafarers, as so many are facing uncertainty about getting home. Such communication has also become all the more essential as families at home are facing health emergencies. Being connected is no longer simply important it is absolutely vital.

FEARS OF FAKE NEWS

A number of respondents also spoke of the fact that rumour and “fake news” about the conditions back at home have become prevalent, and so being able to actually talk to relatives, to be able to find out what is happening has also become crucial to the mental wellbeing of those feeling trapped onboard.

The same goes for the families left at home. They are often unsure of what is happening, if or when their loved ones will return. The connection that internet onboard can provide is taking on even more importance and significance than ever before.

Many seafarers said that access to communication has been improving, with better connections, faster and cheaper. However, there is still more to be done and we did hear from many who still feel that they are being forced to suffer poor service for at too high a price. Bandwidth becomes an issue with so many people trying desperately to contact home, and it is clear that still more has to be done to close the communication gaps between ship and shore.

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